How to Plan the Perfect Trip with Grandchildren

Taking a trip with your grandchildren is all about fun, learning, and making memories together. It's not just about the places you go, but also about the shared moments and the stories you'll create along the way. Let this post be your go-to guide for turning a regular trip into an extraordinary adventure with your grandkids. We'll give you practical tips, from picking the right spots that keep everyone excited to planning activities that are enjoyable and kid-friendly. So, grab your map, and let's make your grandkid getaway a blast!

10 Travel Tips for Vacationing with Younger Grandchildren

1. Maintain a Flexible Schedule

While traveling with grandchildren can be a rewarding experience, it is important to take the time to plan the trip thoroughly. Then, when you're on the trip, you also have to keep in mind that traveling with children affects your schedule differently than traveling alone or with peers your age. Children have different needs and can't be expected to be responsible for keeping track of time. You'll run late sometimes; building that into your agenda is essential. Try not to overbook yourself to avoid being stressed about getting places on time. It's crucial to ensure that the trip involves quality time for the whole family, which is made easier by intentionally building flexibility into your daily travel agenda.

2. Have Medical Info and Be Prepared for an Emergency

It is vital to prepare for any possible emergencies. If you are taking your younger grandchildren on a vacation or road trip, make sure you have all the essential information like emergency contacts, doctors' information, parents' phone numbers, food allergies, drug allergies, medications, and any other important information. It only takes one incident to potentially ruin an otherwise great trip. Simple precautions like this can help to quickly resolve a bad situation and get you back on track with all the fun you have planned!

3. Bring Plenty of Snacks and Fun

If you are going on a trip with your grandchildren, preparing and ensuring that the kids are entertained is necessary. Bring plenty of snacks in your carry-on bag. When traveling, having long gaps between meals is likely, and experiences can be ruined if overshadowed by hungry children. So pack a few healthy snacks to help everyone stay happy and energized through the fun activities you have planned.

Additionally, be sure to pack books, games, and knick-knacks to keep them entertained throughout the trip. Even cards and on-the-go board games are great ideas and will keep them away from a screen. On a long car ride, waiting for a plane, or any other period of downtime during the trip, you'll be glad you packed something fun for everyone.

4. Set a Budget

Make sure to count how many days you will be on vacation with your grandchildren and create a daily and total budget for the trip. Budgeting is essential because it allows you to plan the trip more accurately based on what you can afford. If you do not have a budget, you may be tempted to spend more than you should and then have to cut back on spending once you are back home. It's easy when you are traveling with grandchildren to want to spoil them and keep everyone happy. However, you'll be surprised how quickly souvenirs, desserts, and other little expenses can add up when you're not keeping track! Stick to the budget, and you'll be glad you did.

Click here to learn about helpful tools and apps to create and track your budget!

5. Help Create the Packing List

Packing for a trip with grandchildren can be challenging and stressful if you're unsure what to bring. Here are a few items that should be on everyone's packing list:

  • Blankets and pillows to keep everyone comfortable during the trip
  • A few games to play in the car/on the plane to keep them entertained and happy
  • Snacks to keep in your purse for on-the-go eating
  • Sunscreen and/or bug spray, if applicable
  • Swimsuits – you don't want to be the one telling your grandchildren they can't go swimming because you forgot the swimsuits
  • Extra clothing in case of a spill or accident
  • Essential toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) to maintain cleanliness and routine
  • Medications – include any necessary prescription or over-the-counter medications for the duration of the trip

6. Take Plenty of Photos

There are many ways to prepare for a trip with the grandchildren, but here are a few more tips. For example, remember to take plenty of photos! Make sure to pack a good camera so you'll never forget the precious memories you make with your grandchildren. They grow up fast, so there’s no such thing as taking too many pictures on family vacations! Of course, it's best to take photos of the whole family together, but you should also get pictures of your grandchildren alone. That way, you can see how much they've grown years down the line! These photos will be treasured for years to come.

7. Plan Activities That Interest Them

Whether you're looking for a quick getaway or an extended vacation, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your time with your grandchildren. If you can find explorer-type museums or water parks, little kids love these places, and it will be easy to keep them entertained. If you're not sure, simply ask them! They might have a great idea that hadn't yet crossed your mind, like going to the zoo or playing mini-golf!

8. Involve Them in Decision-Making

Empower your grandchildren by involving them in some aspects of the trip planning. Depending on their age, let them contribute ideas for activities, suggest places to visit, or even help choose some meals. Involving your grandchildren in planning the trip makes them feel valued and adds an element of excitement as they anticipate the adventures ahead. Giving them a sense of ownership in the decision-making process creates a more engaging and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

9. Consider Rest Stops for Younger Travelers

Long journeys can be tiring for both you and your grandchildren. Plan regular rest stops during road trips or breaks during other modes of transportation. These breaks provide an opportunity for everyone to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and refresh before continuing the journey. Incorporating short breaks will make the travel experience more comfortable and allow for some spontaneous exploration of interesting rest areas. It's a simple way to break up the travel and keep everyone in good spirits.

10. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Pack

It's inevitable: grandparents will be grandparents, and they will want to take their grandchildren on trips from time to time. Whether the trip is an annual family vacation or just a weekend getaway, there are a few things to remember when planning a trip with your grandchildren, so give yourself plenty of time to pack. As previously mentioned, you will need to bring some good old-fashioned patience with you on this trip. Take deep breaths when it gets too loud or when diaper changes come at inconvenient times, and remember that you love them dearly!


Through careful planning and thoughtful consideration of their needs, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable experience for everyone involved. From being flexible with schedules to involving them in decision-making, each tip contributes to the success of your grand adventure. Don’t forget to capture those precious moments with photos and encourage your grandchildren to document their experiences as well.

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